Good Monday to you Steelers fans.
If there were ever a play to summarize the ridiculous and awful tenure of Matt Canada as the Offensive Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers… Oh, but there is such a play and while it’s hard to pick just one from a myriad plays this season, yesterday’s flea-flicker took the cake for me. Let’s examine shall we? In the FIRST half, the Steelers ran the ball quite effectively. In the second half they did not. That’s the first clue that should have told Canada that a flea-flicker(in the second half) was probably not going to work. The play call also came on the heels of a tremendous third down conversion in which George Pickens snared a sideline throw from Kenny Pickett with his hands to convert and give the Steelers the ball inside Cincinnati territory. (Allow me to pause here and remind you of the days of Ken Whisenhunt who LOVED trick plays once inside the other team’s 50 yard line so I don’t necessarily blame Canada for the location of his choosing) The problem wasn’t just in the call itself, but also the execution. The Bengals had clearly made adjustments at the half which were thwarting the Steelers. Mason Cole was out with an injury and was replaced by JC Hassenauer which also factored in here but I don’t think it made that much of a difference. Cincy was selling out to stop the run plain and simple and Canada never adjusted which should have come as no surprise. This has been an on-going theme in 2022. On the play, Najee Harris had little time to actually sell the run because penetration was already into the backfield. He turned and fired the ball back to Pickett with an inaccurate toss forcing Pickett to take his eyes off the receivers. Ultimately, Pickett scrambled to his right and threw the ball away. Not long after the Steelers were forced to punt. Was this the ‘play of the game?’ Not necessarily but it was a microcosm of Canada’s tenure. Every time he gets into enemy territory his play-calling goes from one extreme to the other with other being horrendous.
The Steelers will be forced to leave their own comfy beds for the first time in several weeks as they travel to Indianapolis for a Monday night affair against the Indianapolis Colts. Injuries to bear watching include the aforementioned Cole but also Jaylen Warren and Miles Boykin as well.
Tweet of the Day… At the end of the day, Pickett is going to be an “Incomplete” until we see a new offensive coordinator.
I'm having a tough time grading Kenneth Pickett. He was brutal in the second half, but so was his poopy offensive coordinator. I have a hard time separating the two.
— Adam Crowley (@_adamcrowley) November 21, 2022
A Sign of Leadership
The quote that follows comes from the postgame comments courtesy Steelers Media. It’s a little thing, but it shows leadership because Pickett could have easily thrown Najee Harris under the bus. Harris was in the wrong on the play in question and instead, Pickett took it in a different direction. QBs are always held to a higher standard and Pickett gets that.
Kenny, there was a play late in the game, I think it was that short field drive, looked like you were
faking a hand-off and there was nobody there, and ended up breaking down. Just kind of threw it.
Was that a missed communication?
Yeah, a little miscommunication on the play.
Watt a Play
Every time T.J. Watt does something spectacular, we probably shouldn’t be too surprised. Still, it never fails to leave us stunned. Such was the case when he intercepted Joe Burrow at the line of scrimmage. He added the pick to his half-sack on the day but I think he’d be the first to tell you that he’s not 100% yet and likely won’t be in 2022. You can just tell the strength and speed aren’t there like they normally would be. Clearly however, it hasn’t affected his outstanding ‘duck hunting’ celebration.
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